If you’re a local in these parts, you already know what you like or don’t like when it comes to the beaches. For the most part, you stray away from where the shoobies herd together and catch some sun in a more quiet part of Miami Beach. Or, maybe, you just like to go skimboarding at Southpoint because that what was the cool thing to do when you were in high school. Not here to judge, but I am here to direct. After living in this sunny place with shady people for so long, I have a definite top three beaches that I tell any out-of-towner to check out, and, if you grew up here, ya’ll ready know.
Nikki Beach- I might catch some hate for suggesting the most bourgie, southern part of Miami Beach, but, let’s face it, Nikki Beach is a nice way to spend some time at the beach. With a nice assembly of bars and clubs set up by the shore, you can get your drink on all day long while watching the waves reach out for your toes and then ebb away back to the ocean. It’s a hotspot on Sunday nights, which they promote most of their lounges/bars with DJs and dancers.
Collins and 81st Street- Now, this is more of a laid back beach during the day. It’s a place where you can go and not get a mouth breather tripping over you as you sunbathe. But, once or twice a month when the moon is full and the bohemians come out to play, the infamous drum circles are held there. This has been the spot in Miami for these jam outs for a while and is, more often than not, a worthwhile experience with a pretty good turnout. The cops stay around the park that the beach is at for safety reason and to make sure that by 12am the party is over, but sometimes it goes out a little longer. It’s friendly for all ages, but if you have kids I would suggest going there earlier around 7pm, when it starts.
The last one is a local favorite and probably where you learned to swim if you had Cuban parents in Miami. Coined El Farito (the lighthouse) by locals, the placid waters in Bill Baggs Cape Florida State Park is a nice place to take the family and have a picnic. You can go inside the lighthouse and take the spiral staircase all the way to the top for an exhausting experience. There’s also wildlife that runs around, when entering the park. There’s an $8 entrance fee and you have to pay $1.50 to cross the Rickenbacker Causeway into Key Biscayne, but, if you’re up for it, you can take the popular route and just bike there from the surrounding area and you don’t have to pay.